1. Backstories and Memories

I swam my choreographed routine in the shallow, see-though "tank". My shift was almost over. As much as I loved the water, I hated swimming at that aquarium. I spent all but 2 days there and most of the day. Even so, I was barely making the cut. I had a good enough, one bedroom apartment. My only companions were my blue and yellow parrot flounder, and my red hermit crab Sebastian. My name is Ariel, Ariel Triton.

My job is sort of…unique. You see I work at an aquarium in a water based theme park, Water World. I am one of the few of people who can hold their breath for more than a minute. I wear a mermaid tail and swim in a show many people really want to see. Sounds dumb right? Well, it's my fault for having a weird talent. But it's good enough to support me and my pets.

I finished changing from my wet mermaid tail to my dry, warm clothes. My apartment was in walking distance from the park. As I opened the door, Flounder flew straight to me and landed on my shoulder.

"Well how is my favorite bird?" I asked him.

"Favorite bird," he repeated.

I laughed. Then I put my stuff down on the kitchen chair and walked over to the island and pulled open the drawer to get out some hermit crab food. I sprinkled the food into Sebastian`s bowl. It was 10:00 p.m. tomorrow was the weekend and the park was not open so I could sleep in. Passing over to my bed I saw a pictured of my family. It brought back memories both happy and sad.

My mother died when I was four in a ship wreck, but that was 15 years ago. I don't really remember her but I`ve heard stories. After that my father was overprotective and sad. His sadness turned anger. I have 3 biological sisters and 3 adopted. At 19 I am the youngest in the family. Attina is 25 making her the oldest. They have all moved out and had families or boyfriends. I ran away.

A day before I turned eighteen I took off. Father had gotten mad at me for doing something imperfect….AGIAN! I was tired of it. My boyfriend, Eric was moving to California, so I asked to tag along. He said yes, we would leave a day before my birthday. Everything was planned out I would live with him in his apartment in San Diego. His boat departed and we were off

We lived in a remote island with no name off the coast of the Pacific Ocean, so it didn't take long to get there. No more than day and a half. On that island swimming was more than a hobby and a sport; it was a way of life. There was no cable or cell phones, in fact not much electronics at all. Only lights, pluming, heat, and A/C were on "The Island." Once I got to California I was amazed at all the landscape and all the technology. It took a few weeks to get used to it.

After a year of living with Eric we started fighting and he told me to get out. I packed my stuff and salvaged my money to try and afford a hotel for a while. Sadly I could not afford more than 2 days a one bedroom room not including food. The day was still young so I went searching for a job. I have no experience of much and was rejected at all of my interviews. Later I went back to the hotel to stay for the night. I walked past the Water World entrance, just in time to see someone putting up a help wanted sign. I guess the guy saw me looking at it, because he came outside.

"Hey you need a job?" the guy asked.

"Um, sort of but I have no experience," I told him.

"Can you swim?" he asked me.

"Yes, I can swim 50ft with one breath."

The look on the guys face changed from straight to looking like he just won the lottery.

"I`ve always wanted to open a mermaid exhibit here! He exclaimed. Will you take the job?"

"Oh…uh okay then when do I start!" I said faking a smile.

"In 2 days. Be here at 8:30 a.m. first show is at 9:30" he replied, almost bursting with excitement.

I didn't really want it but a job is a job